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From left to right: Jason Biggs, Heather Graham, Brandy Norwood, and Matt Cedeño star in "Best. Christmas. Ever!" (Netflix, 2023)

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“Best. Christmas. Ever!” General Information

Director Mary Lambert
Screenplay By Todd Calgi Gallicano and Charles Shyer
Based On N/A
Date Released (Netflix) November 16, 2023
Genre Holiday
Film Length 1 Hour, 20  Minutes
Content Rating Rated TV-PG
Noted Characters and Cast
Charlotte Sanders Heather Graham
Rob Sanders Jason Biggs
Jackie Jennings Brandy Norwood
Valentino Matt Cedeño

“Best. Christmas. Ever!” Film Summary

Everything about “Best. Christmas. Ever!” may be the worst. movie. this year! From its vague title to its tired gags to its cloying sentimentality, this Netflix Christmas movie feels like it was written by AI. At 80 minutes, the holiday horror feels jumbled together and still too long. Let’s discuss why.

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From left to right: Jason Biggs, Heather Graham, Brandy Norwood, and Matt Cedeño star in “Best. Christmas. Ever!” (Netflix, 2023)

“Best. Christmas. Ever!” begins by showing the perfect lives of Jackie Jennings (Brandy Norwood) and her husband Valentino (Matt Cedeño). Jackie is writing a Christmas newsletter about how well her family is doing: her 10-year-old daughter is in Harvard, her oldest son is helping a humanitarian crisis, her husband runs a successful karate business, and she was able to retire early. We immediately see Charlotte Sanders (Heather Graham) reading this letter and calling it a bunch of malarkey.

In the only moment where Charlotte breaks the fourth wall and talks to the viewer, Charlotte explains how unkept and sad her life is in comparison. The only problem here is: as a beautiful white woman in a big house with two kids and a husband (Jason Biggs), what’s the problem? Charlotte taking her family for granted is slightly the point of the movie, but when she describes how “unconventional” her family is, the reasons come off as simple quirks instead of anything remotely problematic. 

So Charlotte is jealous of her old friend Jackie’s life and suspects Jackie isn’t being honest in her newsletters. Luckily for Charlotte, when the family plans to visit her sister for Christmas, Charlotte’s son puts in Jackie’s address, and what do you know? They end up at Jackie’s house instead! So the Sanders family spends Christmas with the Jennings family, and shenanigans ensue. 

You may feel second-hand embarrassment for all involved just by watching this movie. “Best. Christmas. Ever!” requires its adults to be dumb in order for the plot to work, and then gives up its initial plot halfway through the movie. I love a good cheese holiday movie, but “Best. Christmas. Ever!” barely qualifies as a movie and is more like the coal you’d stuff in your enemy’s stocking. 

Content Rating Explanation

“Best. Christmas. Ever!” is rated TV-PG due to some implied sexual content, some profanity, and discussion of grief.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member.

Charlotte Sanders

Charlotte is an entrepreneur, an inventor, and the mother of two crayon eaters. When she’s not busy envying the life of her old friend Jackie, she’s occupied by excusing her dumb kids’ behavior. 

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Boogie Nights.”

Rob Sanders

Rob is Charlotte’s husband, and he’s more satisfied with their family life than she is. Rob has dreams that one of the houses he wants to renovate will sell big, but Charlotte has her doubts.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “American Pie.”

Jackie Jennings

Jackie is a confident woman with what appears to be the perfect life. Her Christmas letters continue to demonstrate how successful and loving her family is. 

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Moesha.”

Valentino

Valentino is Jackie’s husband. Valentino is confident in his relationship with Jackie and is more sexually open than Charlotte and Rob. 

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Power.”
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Charlotte Sanders (Heather Graham), Jackie Jennings (Brandy Norwood), and Beatrix Jennings (Madison Skye Validum) in “Best. Christmas. Ever!” (Netflix, 2023)

Discussion Items

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

  1. Did you enjoy “Best. Christmas. Ever!” or was it the “Worst. Christmas. Movie!”? 

“Best. Christmas. Ever!” Review

Our Rating: Negative (Acquired Taste)

Notable Performances or Moments

Madison Skye Validum as Whiz Kid Beatrix Jennings

Despite the ridiculous premise and first red flag that this movie’s idea of humor is tired jokes, Madison Skye Validum as a genius child who goes to college is charming and a bright spot in the movie. 

Low Points

Plot Requires People to Have Yule Logs for Brains

The premise of “Best. Christmas. Ever!” relies on us believing that the adults didn’t notice their son input a different address in their GPS, and they also didn’t notice the change of scenery, time, or much else on their way to the different house. “Best. Christmas. Ever!” is difficult to watch because it requires multiple moments for the characters to behave or react irrationally (Rob not telling Charlotte about his annual Christmas letter, Charlotte sneaking around the house, etc.). We don’t know these people or what drives them to these choices, but it all feels inhuman. 

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Rob (Jason Biggs) and Charlotte Sanders (Heather Graham) realizing their son is smarter than them.

Heavy on the Holidays, Light on the Cheer

“Best. Christmas. Ever!” knows emphatically that it’s a holiday movie, but the Netflix product weakly shrugs at providing anything more. Are we supposed to laugh as Charlotte is attracted to Valentino, or when she falls off the balcony, or when her son loves his stuffed monkey a little too much? If it’s a family movie, will any kids enjoy watching this? If it’s a romance, where is the romance? The movie features small attempts at heart and laughter but quickly rushes to another scene without letting the viewer feel anything. 

On The Fence

At 80 minutes, “Best. Christmas. Ever!” is Simultaneously Too Short and Too Long

“Best. Christmas. Ever!” starts with the belief that Charlotte is jealous of Jackie’s life. That issue resolves itself about 45 minutes into the movie, leaving an awkward 30 minutes of subplots left. I call them subplots (Jackie’s son, Charlotte’s job loss, and Grant’s belief in Santa) because there’s no thorough connection between any of them. While it passes by quickly enough, the movie lacks a message or theme besides “It’s Christmas!” which makes its stories feel disjointed and lacking.

Also Worth Mentioning

  • No creative behind this movie should be held responsible; it’s just one of those movies that ended badly.
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Brandy and Heather Graham hopefully smiling their way to a nice paycheck.

Who Is This For?

Fans of recognizable actors (Brandy Norwood, Heather Graham, Jason Biggs, etc.) all have a pleasant time here, and fans of Christmas movies might enjoy “Best. Christmas. Ever!” 

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. A Christmas Surprise
  2. The Christmas Lottery
  3. Christmas Inheritance

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

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Best. Christmas. Ever! (2023) – Review
Overall
“Best. Christmas. Ever!” requires its adults to be dumb in order for the plot to work, and then gives up its initial plot halfway through the movie. I love a good cheese holiday movie, but this is more like the coal you’d stuff in your enemy’s stocking. 
Highlights
Disputable
Plot Requires People to Have Yule Logs for Brains
Heavy on the Holidays, Light on the Cheer
At 80 minutes, “Best. Christmas. Ever!” is Simultaneously Too Short and Too Long
65

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